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67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: R is as gritty, punishing and intense as a two year stint in Denmark's toughest penitentiary, but infinitely more riveting. That's where prisoner R finds himself serving a sentence for violent assault. It's his first conviction but he ends up with the hard-core lifers in a world filled with rules, honour and debts to be paid. A world in which bars cover the windows and blood stains the floor. He must find his place in the system, learn to navigate, and fight for his survival. With unflinching realism and a cast made up of ex-convicts and guards, the tension and violence are palpable in every scene. (Soda Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jun 14, 2011
    80
    This unflinching parable brings the hammer down on its cinematic brethren's fetishization of cell-block Rockefellers. R's final shot says it all: The house wins. The house always wins.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Heath Jr.
    Jun 14, 2011
    75
    If the trajectory of R foreshadows tragedy early and often (what prison film doesn't?), the filmmakers manage to infuse quiet moments of reflection and panic into each man's traumatic experience.
  3. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jun 17, 2011
    75
    If you were among the many who thought highly of "A Prophet," the French prison drama that played here last year, you'll want to see the brutally realistic Danish thriller R.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 16, 2011
    70
    Isn't as hellish as the situation behind bars is portrayed in American movies, some of which are so gory they qualify as prison porn. But it is awful enough.
  5. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    Jun 14, 2011
    60
    More pathetic than sympathetic, the young protags are not romanticized or made heroic. While this suits the style of the picture, which never conforms to the melodramatic conventions and stock characters of the prison genre, it also works against audience identification.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jun 14, 2011
    50
    Following "Prophet" director Jacques Audiard's lead, Lindholm and Noer attempt to make up in raw emotion what their film lacks in context, an approach good for a surprising amount of mileage, until the project finally chokes on its own inevitable nihilism.